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  • Writer's pictureAirborne Studios

Groundbreaking Legal Drone Flight In New York City

Today was an exciting day for Airborne Studios. Over the last 30 days, together with our partners at the NYPD, we worked hard to plan and execute one of the first legal flights in New York City. For decades flying an unmanned aircraft in NYC has been illegal -- frustrating drone cinematography companies, commercial production companies, and television/feature film producers. However, flying large unmanned aircraft in one of the largest and most densely populated cities on the planet is not an undertaken that could be taken lightly. The safety concerns from public and private entities were understandable, but as drone cinema experts we understood that with proper planning, safety considerations, and decades of combined flying experience the team at Airborne knew that if allowed -- flying in NYC could be just as safe as flying in any other place earlier this year, thanks to a multi-year legal battle spearheaded by our friends at Xizmo Media drone flights were legalized in New York. Immediately after Xizmo Media's momentous win, Airborne was at the forefront of the permitting process. As an industry leader, Airborne attended a public information session with senior city officials. Alongside other drone cinematography professionals in New York City, we helped to shape what has now become a complex but necessary permitting process


Navigating producing content in New York is inherently a challenge, but the new process of permitting legal flights in New York City adds an entirely new level of complexity. Having a partner like Airborne Studios to help navigate the permit process is a necessity. Airborne's legal team spent countless hours drafting a detailed cybersecurity and data privacy policy -- a requirement of the NYPD. We then spend time scouting, flight planning, and obtaining necessary FAA permissions, and DOT clearances. Each of these approvals requires lots of back-and-forth to ensure each party is satisfied with the operation. Airborne will take the lead in interfacing with all the municipal parties needed to obtain


Today's flight -- an establishing shot for an upcoming documentary about south Brooklyn went flawlessly. Our team arrived early to ensure the takeoff area was secured and safe -- and the 45-minute flight was successful. Such a cool feeling for Airborne Studios to be part of NYC's aviation history, and we can't wait to continue to fly safely and legally here in New York City.

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